Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Last Post

The Hindmost remained in footstool mode, needs explaining, I suppose, since no one picked up on it. When I ran across it the other day, I thought of it as a perfect quote. It could only be written by one person, and anyone who knows that person's work would instantly recognize the author and the story setting, if not the exact work involved.

If you don't know what's going on, the Hindmost is (well, was) the leader of the Pearson's Puppeteers in Larry Niven's Known Space series. The quote is from Ringworld's Children, but to understand that book you'll need to read Ringworld, at least, and probably The Ringworld Engineers and The Ringworld Throne. (Ringworld is Niven's best novel, the other two are, hmm, somewhat less well-done. I can't comment on Ringworld's Children yet because I haven't finished it.)

Anyway, a Puppeteer is an intellegent herbivore who believes that discretion is the only part of valor. When in danger with no place to run (always Plan A), a Puppeteer tucks its two heads (which look like Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent puppets under its body, along with its three legs, creating something that looks like an ottoman (Plan B).

At All Costs Avoid Plan C: Under no circumstances approach the ottoman from the side nearest the hind leg.


Carol Davidson said...

Ahhhhhhh. I can rest now.

Thanks for 'splaining.